A wealth of material is found throughout the Paleolithic (see Dolní Věstonice and Předmostí). The Mesolithic is little explored. The Neolithic (ca. 5000–3000 BC) was initiated with the arable and livestock linebreaking ceramic culture (see Band Ceramic Culture). In the Czech Republic there are features of the cultural development around the Danube as well as of northern regions with funnel cup culture and later lace ceramic culture. Anunjetitz culture, an important role for the dissemination of cultural impulses, had its center in Bohemia about 2000–1500 BC. During the Middle Bronze Age, fortified settlements became commonplace. During the younger Bronze Age (c. 1300–1000 BC), local variants of the urn field culture appeared.
Tombs with a strong aristocratic feel became common during the Hall era (about 1000–400 BC). When the Latin culture (around 400 BC – BC) characterized the Czech Republic, parts of the country probably had a Celtic population; The complexity of society is indicated by incipient coinage and urban-like settlements (oppida, see oppidum). During the century BC immigrated Germanic groups (Markomanians and squares) from the north, and during the wars between the Romans and the Germans the Romans occasionally penetrated far into the southern Moravia. Several German people moved through the area during the migration period. Slaves reached the Czech Republic from the east during the 500s; At the same time, southern Moravia was under the influence of avars. At the beginning of the 8th century, the Stormähriska empire was formed and the Czech Republic was Christianized.
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The state of the Czech Republic arose on January 1, 1993 through the division of Czechoslovakia (see Czechoslovakia, History). The new state inherited the Czechoslovakia flag as well as the national anthem. Constitution, government and parliament were taken over from the Czech part of the old federation.
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Since then, the Czech Republic has developed stable democratic and market economy institutions. Domestic policy has been dominated by economic issues and the political parties have come to form in a left and right bloc, even though cross-border governmental co-operation has taken place.
In 1992, Václav Klaus’s newly formed party of the National Democrats (ODS) won the elections in the Czech part of the federation. As Prime Minister (1992–97), Klaus was a key player behind both the division of Czechoslovakia and the market-liberal reform policy implemented by the Czech Republic. Despite the election victory for ODS in 1996, Klaus was forced to resign the following year following a party financing scandal. After the 1998 election, Miloš Zeman instead formed a social democratic minority government with the support of ODS. The Social Democrats (ČSSD) could continue to govern even after the 2002 elections, now in a coalition with the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) and a liberal party. This government came to bring the Czech Republic into the EU in 2004 after a large majority said yes to membership in a referendum the year before. Already in 1999, the Czech Republic had joined NATO.
In the 2006 elections, the bloc received 100 seats each. After many trips, Mirek Topolánek was finally able to form an ODS-led government in coalition with KDU-ČSL and the Greens (SZ). However, in the spring of 2009, during the Czech Republic’s ongoing EU presidency, the government was overthrown in Parliament and Topolánek was forced to hand over to a technocratic expert government, led by Jan Fischer. The Fisher Government was commissioned to complete the presidency and, since the Constitutional Court contradicted new elections, also mandated to push through financial savings packages. In the regular parliamentary elections in May 2010, all five parliamentary parties went backwards. Instead, two newly formed center – right parties, TOP 09 and Public Affairs (VV), had great success. These two could form a majority government together with the ODS under the leadership of its party leader Petr Nečas.
The main task for all governments until 2003, when the negotiations with the EU ended, was to implement all the adjustments required for the Czech Republic to become a member of the EU. Since EU membership has been realized, domestic policy has instead been dominated by economic issues, such as health and pension reform. The international financial crisis, which certainly hit the Czech Republic less than hard than several neighboring countries, further increased the pressure on reforms.
The government period 2010-13 became turbulent, partly due to reduced support for the government parties after initiating extensive budgetary tightening in the wake of the financial crisis, and partly due to a number of noteworthy corruption cases that reached all the way into the government’s inner circles. Suspicions of corruption also precipitated Prime Minister Petr Nečas, who was forced to resign in the summer of 2013, which resulted in the government being split and new elections announced. The following election was marked by dissatisfaction and gave no clear majority for any new government leader. After months of negotiations, a government of the Social Democrats, the newly formed party ANO 2011 and the Christian Democrats was finally formed. Social Democrats leader Bohuslav Sobotka was named new prime minister.
Václav Havel was the last President and President of Czechoslovakia in 1993–2003. Havel, known as a playwright with a humanist ideal of values and during the communist era, spokesman for the dissidents in Charter 77, became a symbol of the Czechoslovak velvet revolution abroad and enjoyed great international respect. In domestic politics, he was often seen as more controversial. for the way in which he distributed grace to convicted prisoners and for his critical attitude toward political parties such as organizations. Havel was succeeded in the presidential post by his rival Václav Klaus in 2003. Klaus has made himself known not least as a leading EU critic. He was a strong opponent of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, which he eventually threatened not to sign. Only in November 2009 did he give in and the Czech Republic could, as the last member state,
Václav Klaus succeeded in 2013 at the post of former Prime Minister Miloš Zeman.
In foreign policy, the Czech Republic has prioritized relations to the west. Just about the other new member states in the EU, support has been given to the United States in the war in Iraq and in the fight against international terrorism. However, the Czech Republic has refused to meet demands from Sudanese interest organizations for compensation for the confiscation of property from the two million Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia after the Second World War.